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Add custom rules for processing requests

About Rules

In the “Rules” tab, you can review and modify rules for managing requests activated for the present application profile.

An application profile consists of data compiled about safeguarded applications. This data is utilized to adjust the system's performance during the examination of requests and their subsequent processing in both the post-analysis module and the cloud.

To better comprehend how the rules for processing traffic are implemented, we recommend you familiarize yourself with how the filter node analyzes requests.

Note: Changes made to the rules take time to become effective. Creating and implementing these rules into the filter nodes may take up to two minutes.


Point: A point is an HTTP request parameter. This parameter can be characterized by a series of filters used during the processing of the request, such as headers, body, URL, Base64, and so on. This sequence is also called the point.

Parsers: Parsers are request processing filters.

Rule branch: A rule branch is the collection of HTTP request parameters and their respective conditions. If these conditions are met, the rules associated with that particular branch will be enforced. For instance, the rule branch example.com/**/ states the conditions that correspond to all requests directed to any URL within the domain of example.com.

Endpoint (Endpoint branch): An endpoint branch is a branch that doesn't contain any nested rule branches. Ideally, an application endpoint corresponds to a single business function of the protected application. For example, authorization could be an endpoint rule branch of example.com/login.php.

Rule: A rule is a configuration set for processing requests in the filter node, post-analysis module, or the cloud. These processing rules are associated with branches or endpoints. A rule is only implemented on a request if that request fulfills all the conditions outlined in the branch.

Rules tab overview

To view the rules within the application structure, navigate to the Rules section in the Gcore Customer Portal. This section shows the branches and endpoints that have been identified.

Inspecting Application Profile Rules

Two asterisks ** in a branch description refer to any number of nested paths. For instance, the branch /**/*.php will contain both /index.php and /app/admin/install.php.


Within each branch, users can browse through the list of rules associated with it. To open the page containing the list of rules, click on the description of the relevant branch.

The rules in a branch are organized according to the point field. Rules that impact the whole request, rather than specific parameters, are consolidated into a single line. To view the complete list, click on the line.

The system presents the following parameters for each rule: the last time it was modified, the quantity, the types, and the point.

Default rules

Default rules—those which aren't linked to any specific endpoint—can be created with a specified action. These rules are applied across all endpoints.

To create a default rule, proceed as usual but leave the URI field empty. This will result in a new rule that isn't associated with any endpoint.

To view the list of default rules you've created, click the "Default rules" button.

Note: All branches inherit these default rules.

Create rules

"If request is" section

To create a new rule, go to the Rules tab.

Rules can be added to both existing branches as well as new ones. You have the option to either create them from scratch or base them on an existing branch.

To attach a rule to an existing branch, click Add rule; this option will appear in the pop-up menu on the right when you hover your mouse cursor over the branch description line. This action can also be carried out on the rule page of the respective branch.

If needed, you can alter the branch where the rule will be added. To do this, click the If request is clause in the rule-adding form and modify the branch description conditions. If a new branch is formed, it will be displayed on the screen and the view of the application structure will be updated.

Below, you can see the interface for rules creation where you can specify "If request is" conditions:

Rules creation interface

URI constructor

The URI constructor enables you to set the conditions for a rule by defining the request method and endpoint in a single string:

  • For the request method, the URI constructor offers a specific selector. If no method is chosen, the rule will be applicable to requests using any method.
  • For the request endpoint method, the URI constructor provides a field accepting the following value formats:
URI constructor fields part 1 URI constructor fields part 2 URI constructor fields part 3 URI constructor fields part 4

The string specified in the URI constructor is automatically parsed into the set of conditions for the following request points:

  • method
  • header (The URI constructor allows specifying only the HOST header)
  • path, action_name, action_ext. Before confirming the rule creation, ensure the values of these request points are parsed in one of the following ways:
    • Explicit value of certain path number + action_name + action_ext (optional)
    • Explicit value of action_name + action_ext (optional)
    • Explicit value of certain path number without action_name and without action_ext
  • query

The value specified in the URI constructor can be completed by other request points available in the advanced edit form.

Using wildcards

Traditionally, it's impossible to use wildcards while operating with the URI constructor. But you can accomplish the same outcome by following these steps:

  • Instead of wildcards, use regular expressions within the parsed components of your URI.
  • Insert the * or ** symbol into the URI field to substitute one or multiple components (refer to the examples provided in the previous section).

Some details

The syntax of regular expressions differs from traditional wildcards, but you can still achieve the same outcomes. For instance, if you want to create a mask that corresponds to:

  • something-1.example.com/user/create.com and
  • anything.something-2.example.com/user/create.com

In the context of traditional wildcards, you might attempt to do this by inputting: *.example.com/user/create.com.

However, in WAF, something-1.example.com/user/create.com will be parsed as follows:

Wildcard rules creation

something-1.example.com is a header-HOST point. We mentioned that a wildcard cannot be used within the point, so instead we need to use a regular expression. Set the condition type to REGEX and then use the regular-expression, WAF-specific syntax:

  1. Do not use * to mean "any number of symbols"
  2. Put all the . that you want to be interpreted as "actual dots" in square brackets: something-1[.]example[.]com
  3. Use . without brackets to replace "any symbol" and * after it for "0 or more repetitions of the preceding"; so .* and: .*[.]example[.]com
  4. Add $ at the end of the expression to signify that what you created must end the component: .*[.]example[.]com$

Advanced edit form points

The point field indicates which parameter value should be extracted from the request for comparison. At present, not all of the points that the filter node can analyze are supported.

The following points are currently supported:

  • application: Application ID.
  • proto HTTP protocol version (1.0, 1.1, 2.0, etc.)
  • scheme: HTTP or HTTPS.
  • uri: Part of the URL without the domain (for example, /blogs/123/index.php?q=aaa for the request sent to http://example.com/blogs/123/index.php?q=aaa).
  • path, action_name, action_ext: Hierarchical URI component sequence where:
    • path: An array with the URI parts separated by the / symbol. The last URI part is not included in the array. If only one part in the URI exists, the array will be empty.
    • action_name: The last part of the URI after the / symbol and before the first period (.). This part of the URI is always presented in the request, even if its value is an empty string.
    • action_ext: The part of the URI after the last period (.). It may need to be added to the request. It may need to be added to the request.
  • query: Query string parameters.
  • header: Request headers. When you enter a header name, the most common values are displayed in a drop-down list. For example: HOST, USER-AGENT, COOKIE, X-FORWARDED- FOR, AUTHORIZATION, REFERER, CONTENT-TYPE.
  • method: Request methods. The rule will be applied to requests with any method if the value is not explicitly specified.

Condition types

  • EQUAL (=). The point value must match precisely with the comparison argument. For example, only example matches with the point value example.

The EQUAL condition type is restricted for the HOST header in order to cover more requests with the rules. Instead of the EQUAL type, we recommend using IEQUAL, which allows parameter values in any register.

If you have previously used the EQUAL type, it will be replaced with the IEQUAL type automatically.

  • IEQUAL (Aa). The point value must match the comparison argument in any case. For example: example, ExAmple, exampLe match with the point value example.

  • REGEX (.*). The point value must match the regular expression.

  • ABSENT ( ). The request should not contain the designated point. In this case, the comparison argument is not used.

Then section

The added request processing rule is described in the Then section. The following rules are supported:

  • Disable/enable parsers
  • Set the filtration mode
  • Mask sensitive data
  • Set the mode of active threat verification
  • Apply a virtual patch
  • User-defined detection rules
  • Ignore certain attack types
  • Ignoring certain attack signs in the binary data

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